The Holy Grail

Asked to name a “holy grail” technology that will be the key game-changer in future air combat, USAF Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias, in a panel discussion on innovation at ASC15, said the question was akin to asking which “is my favorite child.” He said, however, that future pilots will be looking for the technologies that make them as close as possible to being “invisible, at the highest speed, and invulnerable.” The technologies of autonomy, directed energy, and hypersonics offer the greatest promise, but should be considered “holistically,” rather than in isolation, Zacharias said. They will “all contribute” to future Air Force superiority, he said.